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Rest's Four-Component Ethical Decision Making Model

Using Rest's Four-Component Ethical Decision Making Model, outline a step-by-step application to the following case story. Outline the possible outcomes for each individual and any benefits and limitations of the model.

Case Story

You are a faculty member at a college. The dean assigned the head of your department to examine a specific issue. You attended several meetings of various faculty members to discuss the issue, and the department head attended only one. You and a colleague wrote a reasoned, point-by-point response to the original issue of concern, and you sent this to the department head. A few months later, you are surprised to see a journal article manuscript with the department head listed as the sole author. When you read the article, you see that you and your colleague are cited in the appendix, but much of the material is word for word what you have written.

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Ethical Decision-Making Models

There are a number of ethical decision making models currently utilized across industries, in organizations and even on an individual/personal basis. What these models do is provide a framework that organizations and their members utilize to arrive at a decision or a choice that can satisfy their moral and ethical obligations, expectations and standards. Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, SJ & Meyer (1996) explain why models are important - "Dealing with these moral issues is often perplexing. How, exactly, should we think through an ethical issue? What questions should we ask? What factors should we consider? The first step in analyzing moral issues is obvious but not always easy: Get the facts. Some moral issues create controversies simply because we do not bother to check the facts. This first step, although obvious, is also among the most important and the most frequently overlooked. But having the facts is not enough. Facts by themselves only tell us what is; they do not tell us what ought to be. In addition to getting the facts, resolving an ethical issue also requires an appeal to values."

For them thus, the models developed by philosophers and ethicists allow for the perplexity to be tackled as moral values are weighed in the use of models and in accordance with the particulars of the situation, subject and individual. The 5 most popular include: Rest's Four-Component Ethical Decision Making Model, Jones's Four-Step Issue-Contingent Ethical Decision-Making Model, Fisher's Eight-Step Ethical Decision-Making Model, Koocher and Keith-Spiegel's Nine-Step Ethical Decision-Making Model and lastly, The Canadian Psychological Association's 10-Step Ethical Decision-Making Process. Here, I will use Rest's Four-Component Ethical Decision Making Model to look at a particular dilemma.

The Dilemma

"You are a faculty ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses Rest's Four-Component Ethical Decision Making Model.